Hellraiser 1-3 Boxset [DVD] 
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This horror collection presents the first three HELLRAISER films, based on characters created by Clive Barker. See individual titles for more details. HELLRAISER - Barker's feature directing debut graphically depicts the tale of a couple (Andrew Robinson and Clare Higgins) who move into an old house and discover a hideous creature--the man's half-brother (Sean Chapman), who is also the woman's former lover--hiding upstairs. Having lost his earthly body to a trio of S&M demons called the Cenobites, he is brought back into existence by a drop of blood on the floor. He soon forces his former mistress to bring him human sacrifices to complete his body...but the Cenobites won't be happy about this. The film is one of the best horror offerings of the 1980s, based on Barker's novel THE HELLBOUND HEART. HELLRAISER II: HELLBOUND - Beginning just hours after the original HELLRAISER ended, HELLBOUND finds young Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) waking up in a mental institution because she insisted on describing her parents' murderers to the authorities as pain-loving demons from hell. Unfortunately, she has been placed in the car of Dr. Channard (Kenneth Cranham), who has devoted his life to solving the Lament Configuration, the key to the doorway of hell, and now, with Kirsty, he believes he has found another key. Resuscitating the skinless corpse of her stepmother, Julia (Clare Higgins), Dr. Channard succeeds in opening a doorway to hell, one that Julia, Channard, Kristy, and her mute friend, Tiffany (Imogen Boorman), all travel through. HELLRAISER III: HELL ON EARTH - TV journalist Joey (Terry Farrell) gets drawn into the world of the supernatural while investigating a mysterious death. She discovers that a strange sculpture housed at a sleazy night club was responsible. The evil Cenobite, Pinhead (Doug Bradley), is released from the sculpture by a human sacrifice and proceeds to wreak havoc.
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Despite that, I'm still very happy to have this. The first two films are classics of horror. The third has its moments. The extras on each disk are interesting and give it some longevity (especially the commentary tracks).
The Lemarchand's Box design is a big selling point for me. In the digital age it's still nice to have physical objects of visual interest, and the box design (though simple rather than highly realistic) is a perfect embodiment of the films that lies there daring you to open it.
The first film introduces us to Pinhead and the other demons from hell called cenobites that are summoned whenever the lament configuration box is solved by someone, the story is about a man named Frank brought partially back to life by the blood of his brother. He befriends his sister in-law Julia (brilliantly played by Claire Higgins) who agrees to supply the blood he requires to live, Julia decides to help Frank since they had an affair in the past, by seducing some strangers into the house and then killing them she allows Frank to suck the blood and Internal organs? of his victims to bring back his skin and look normal again but he is still haunted by the evil forces which held him captive in death. For Kristy Cotten (Ashley Laurence) its like a living nightmare when she finds out the truth and now she must stop her uncle Frank before its too late. The films subtext is about how far a person can go when they're looking for the ultimate pain and pleasure, it seems like the true villains are Frank and Julia, Claire was perfect as Julia, she seemed to play the ultimate wicked step mother from hell. You also might recognise actor Andrew Robinson as Kristy's father he was the psychotic killer in Dirty Harry and in this film he gives yet another great performance and Doug Bradley who of course was just brilliant and very menacing as Pinhead. The Special effects especially at the end looked about outdated but they were still great and is a reminder that CGI is not neccesary when you have a great cast and dedicated crew and staff. Hellraiser in my opinion had the best storyline and some great acting as well. The special features include an audio commentary with Clive Barker and Ashley Laurence a featurette called Hellraiser: Resurrection, Under The Skin, Onset Interview with Clive Barker, Merchandising trailer etc.
The second film Hellraiser: Hellbound continues the story when Kristy is kept at a hospital after the traumatic incident at the end of the first film with her father's skinned corpse and the demonic cenobites still fresh in her memory. Doctor Channard re-opens the channel between the dimensions and once again Kristy is propelled into their horrifying world. The second film does a brilliant job of following up some plot threads that were left during the first film and its obvious that the budget looks slightly bigger, the mental hospital or asylum setting was great it later turns into a maze from hell where each character gets tormented by reliving a dark secret or past that they regret doing. Theres even more gore than the first film and so its not recommended for those who have a weak stomach, in one particular scene where a mental patient takes a razor blade and starts cutting and mutilating himself while screaming "GET THEM OF ME!!!" will make you turn away in disgust cause it is very gory you have been warned. The makeup fx just look amazing and were an improvement. The film just gets better as it goes along and Claire was just as wicked as she was in the first film, Pinhead this time is featured in the film more often and has some great lines as usual. The series after these two films definitely headed towards a different direction with Hellraiser 3:Hell on earth Pinhead became more of a main character who said these cheesy one liners and started to look like a Freddy Krueger type of villain, I still liked it and it was fun but it wasn't the same anymore and after that the series was no longer scary or gory with disappointed horror fans and Clive Barker who I read in an interview somewhere he said that he hated the series especially what they did with Inferno and wanted to disown them. Anyway Hellraiser 3 was pretty good and decent but it seemed more Americanized. This packaging also comes along with a bonus disc with two earlier short films done by Clive Barker, Salome and The Forbidden and a couple of interviews discussing more stuff about these films. Overall I would have to say that this boxset was terrific and is guaranteed to satisfy horror fans, I highly recommend this.
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